The feeling when Siena announced the hiring of Jimmy Patsos last spring was that it wouldn’t be long before the former Loyola (Md.) head coach turned the program around. In his first season at the helm Patsos led the Saints to an 11-9 record in MAAC play, 20 wins overall and the CBI championship.
As a result the school announced Wednesday that Patsos has been rewarded with an extension through the 2018-19 season. The deal adds a year to his original contract, and according to the school the financial terms (which weren’t released) will not change.
“The turnaround of our team both in terms of on-court success and talent level happened much more quickly than we thought it would,” vice president and director of athletics John D’Argenio said. “That is a testament to coach Patsos’ ability to recruit quality student athletes and teach and motivate young men to realize their potential. We decided at the end of the season to add one more year to Jimmy’s current contract.”
Siena improved its win total by 12 games in 2013-14, and given the amount of talent returning for the 2014-15 campaign there’s optimism regarding the Saints’ chances of continuing their climb up the MAAC standings. Siena’s top five scorers from last year’s team will return, led by guard Rob Poole (14.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and forward Brett Bisping (11.5, 6.5).
Last year’s team also featured two MAAC All-Rookie Team selections in guard Marquis Wright and wing Lavon Long, with this being the first time that Siena has placed two players on that particular squad. Both Wright and Long return as well for a team that will have three seniors (Poole, guard Evan Hymes and forward Imoh Silas) and two scholarship juniors (Bisping and forward Ryan Oliver) in 2014-15.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: